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What Ecommerce Can Teach Escape Room Brands About Content

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(Last Updated On: April 2, 2019) Escape room brands face many promotional challenges: they must stand out from their rivals, anticipate reader concerns, and maintain the careful balance needed to promote such an interesting concept. This makes it essential for them to produce top-quality content.

Now, when you want to get something right, the best thing you can do is take inspiration from the masters — those out there who’ve been down the road already and know all the pitfalls and shortcuts. And when it comes to online content, the ecommerce industry has all the answers.

Does that come as a surprise? It shouldn’t. When you’re determined to make your content as effective as possible, it’s because you’re hoping to achieve something specific with it. People who produce content just for the sake of enjoyment don’t tend to look for advice, because the quality doesn’t really matter. Simply being creative is enough.

And which industry has content goals that aren’t just abstractly valuable but are, in fact, directly valuable? Ecommerce. Anyone aspiring to turn their content into real-world value can benefit from the years of work and research that marketers have put into optimizing conversion rates.

So what specific takeaways can escape room brands glean from the ecommerce industry when it comes to content? Let’s run through them.

The format needs to match the context

A common mistake that content producers make is to pick a format and use it across different platforms and at different stages of reader interest. This kind of scattergun identikit approach is likely to prove ineffective because catch-all content can’t provide the details needed to push someone to the next step.

Let’s consider an ecommerce example. Suppose that a company is selling a software suite capable of digitizing and cataloging vinyl records, and wants to produce some promotional copy to attract sales. Deciding to run a PPC campaign, it heads to Facebook Ads.

When it creates the campaign, what will the ads say? Each ad will only have enough characters to answer some questions prospective customers might have, not all of them. The ecommerce company will realize this and create different ads to cater to people in the following groups:

  • People who know nothing about the technology. There’s no point in getting deep into advantages when the reader doesn’t know the technology exists. Someone in this group will need the broadest explanation possible with no technical terms.
  • People who know nothing about the company. If someone knows about the technology but hasn’t heard about the company, they’ll need to be introduced to the brand. This will require an explanation of what the company does, and why.
  • People who don’t know why the company is noteworthy. Knowing how the tech works and what the company being advertised does, a reader in this group will be looking for differentiation. Why is that particular company (and that particular solution) better than the alternatives?
  • People who are mostly sold but need some final convincing. When a prospective customer recognizes that your company is special, but isn’t quite ready to buy your software, the ad can nudge them. The focus must be on reassuring the reader and overcoming their final objections.

Promoting an escape room brand, you’ll need to build your content around this framework. If someone has never even heard of an escape room, then you’ll need to be much more patient with them — whereas anyone who already knows the situation might be looking for a hard sell to convince them to part with their hard-earned money.

You must anticipate your reader’s lexicon

Escape Room ecommerce

The world of online search is vast and complex, and it’s not possible to overestimate the importance of knowing (and targeting) the language used by relevant searchers. Google will automatically correct for typos, but not for odd phrasing.

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The average ecommerce retailer needs to be extremely careful with this, particularly in their user interfaces and navigation elements. For instance, should they name a category “PCs”, “Desktops”, or something else entirely? It will depend on what the members of their target audience typically search for.

With escape rooms achieving mainstream popularity relatively recently, there are no doubt still plenty of people who haven’t really heard of them or don’t particularly understand what they involve. Such a person might not know to search for “escape rooms” — they might search for “room escape” or “trapped in room puzzle” or “stuck building 4 people”.

You can’t always anticipate these constructions, but you can try to include as many as you can in your content to cover the bases. Ecommerce retailers know to carefully monitor internal search traffic to see what terms store visitors search for.

If your site doesn’t have an internal search, be sure to implement one. It will provide you with a lot of insight into how your visitors phrase their search queries.

Technical SEO is critically important

The best ecommerce CMS options today have impressive SEO functionality — covering metadata, structured data, URL structures, speed, and responsiveness, to name just some things — and this isn’t for the sake of it. Online merchants know that even a minor improvement in ranking potential is likely to be worth a significant upfront investment.

This is why it’s become so common for ambitious sellers to invest in high-performance store-building software. It might seem like a big financial commitment, but any seller receiving the luxury of knowing they can rely on rock-solid fundamentals for the lifetime of their store will consider it a price worth paying.

When creating your escape room content, always be mindful of how you’re constructing it. Are you chunking the copy? Using digestible features such as bullet-pointed lists? If someone opted to read it on a mobile device, would it look acceptable?

Even if a minor issue doesn’t directly damage your ranking potential (as with page speed outside of mobile indexing), it will inevitably affect your on-page metrics.

Consider that people making actionable searches for escape rooms (wanting to make bookings, most likely) are often going to be using smartphones on mobile data networks. Your content may load swiftly on high-speed wi-fi, but it must also work well on slow 2g connections.

Fail to achieve that level, and you’ll be left hoping that your Google My Business page proves sufficiently compelling to win you the booking (unlikely).

The entire funnel must be trackable

An ecommerce buy doesn’t typically go from search to conversion in one quick motion. More commonly it’s an extended and complex process of going back and forth between different sites. Someone may visit a product page ten times before they finally decide to order.

Knowing this, ecommerce marketers get very granular with their analytics, looking carefully at how people proceed at different stages and attributing values to different types of goal. Since the value of a conversion doesn’t come out of nowhere, winning a qualified lead should also be considered directly valuable.

Across your entire marketing strategy, you should ensure that every last part of your escape room content is tracked: how many views you get, how many links are followed, how many follows you receive on social media. It’s only by tallying everything up that you get a meaningful understanding of what your content is achieving.

You should use every channel you can

Escape Room ecommerce

Conversational commerce has been a big topic in the ecommerce world in recent years. Sellers can not only offer one-click purchasing in myriad scenarios, but also market to potential customers across social media, messaging channels, and mobile apps.

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In doing so, they’re able to bypass the reluctance that searchers typically show. This is because people are less guarded when using (for instance) Facebook Messenger. They associate it with friends and family members, so when a retailer offers a chatbot, they view it more warmly.

Because escape rooms are experiential, they rely heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations and other forms of social proof. Accordingly, you should nurture conversation on every relevant channel you can find. Are you extolling the virtues of your escape rooms on Reddit, uploading images to Imgur, or pushing hashtags on Twitter? If not, you’re missing out.

It’s the conversion that matters

Producing digital content can be very enjoyable, particularly if you’re allowed a degree of creativity (something that goes down very well in the escape room industry, since it’s all about entertainment and trying new things) — but you must be careful to avoid that enjoyment distracting from your ultimate goals.

Ecommerce retailers are more likely to get too obsessed with ROI and other KPIs than anything else. However many sales they get, they always aspire to more. This is not only because they need to stay aggressive in a hotly-competitive industry but also because they want to fully optimize their operational efficiency.

When you’re writing a blog post on escape room themes or how to arrange an escape room event, never forget that the objective is to win bookings. You don’t need every post to have a title such as “5 Reasons to Book An Escape Room With Us Today” — just write about the topic in question, and take any natural opportunity to remind people what you do.

Suppose that one of your long-term customers really likes one of your pieces and shares it with a friend who has never tried an escape room: devoid of any context, will that friend know what you do by the time they reach the end? If not, that’s a missed opportunity.

Seasonal trends are powerful

Escape Room ecommerce

The Western world is firmly in the grip of Black Friday fever as I write this, and ecommerce sellers are in a marketing frenzy, hammering inboxes with the latest deals and gift suggestions in the run-up to Christmas. They’re also ramping up their blog activity, just as they do around all major seasonal changes and public holidays.

While evergreen content (generic and applicable at all times) provides a solid foundation, it doesn’t tend to bring in a lot of traffic when it matters most. Seasonal content does. When we reach the point in the year at which everyone starts entering festive search queries into Google, every marketing department in the world will have golden opportunities to win clicks.

Because escape rooms make perfect group activities for all ages and abilities, they’re ideal during the holidays for work outings and family gatherings alike. Writing a post called “Why an Escape Room is Great for a Work Social” would be good, but think about the potential of “Boring Work Christmas Party? Try an Escape Room Instead”.

Wrapping Up

The biggest ecommerce brands in the world are excellent at content marketing. They know how to reach the right people with the right messages at the right times, how to attribute value to their content, and how to choose topics that will resonate most extensively.

When preparing content for your escape room brand, you should consider all of the above lessons. You’ll spend less time on ineffective (or even counterproductive) content and achieve a much greater return on your investment.

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About the Author

Ecommerce Tips is an industry-leading eCommerce hub sharing practical marketing advice and insight to digital entrepreneurs. Get your online store the exposure it deserves with on-point marketing know-how. Discover all the latest on Twitter @myecommercetips.


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